The Newberry College Singers and the Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir will hold a joint concert on Sunday, April 24, 7 p.m., at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1001 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC, in anticipation of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
The Newberry College Singers are conducted by Dr. Chris Sheppard, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities. Their accompanist is Dawn Driggers. The Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir is directed by Dr. Paul Weber, Professor of Church Music, and accompanied by collaborative artist, Jeana Neal Borman. Student organist for the concert will be Lenoir-Rhyne junior sacred music major, Andrew Barbour.
This will be the first time that the feature choirs of these two Lutheran institutions have joined forces. Both schools are institutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Newberry is a college of the South Carolina Synod of the ELCA, and Lenoir-Rhyne University of the North Carolina Synod.
The choirs will perform separately and together. The program will open with the Bach extended chorale from Cantata BWV 79 for the Reformation, “Now Thank We All Our God,” and will end with F. Melius Christiansen’s perennial favorite, “Beautiful Savior.” Other combined pieces include the Duruflé “Sanctus,” and “Northern Lights” by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo. The powerful spiritual by Moses Hogan, “My Soul’s Been Anchored,” will be sung as well as Paul Weber’s dynamic setting of the Reformation hymn, “A Mighty Fortress,” on which the audience will be invited to join.
Another highlight of the program will be pieces for the combined women and men of the choirs. The women will sing Esenvald’s ethereal “O salutaris hostia,” and the men will perform Ralph Vaughan Williams’ setting of “Loch Lomond.” In addition the chamber ensembles of each choir–the College Singers from Lenoir-Rhyne and the Madrigal Singers from Newberry–will perform separately and then together. Their combined pieces will be Orban’s “Come Away,” on a text by William Shakespeare, and “Beautiful River,” a setting of Shall We Gather by the River by the American composer William Hawley.